Local News for Tuesday 27th June 2017

Action hots up at Gotland
It’s been a busy first couple of days for the Western Isles team in Gotland, Sweden, as 88 competitors got into action in the 2017 NatWest Island Games. On the first day Donald Walker and Ruairidh Macdonald, both from Uist, came agonisingly close to a bronze medal in the automatic ball trap team event, missing out by only one point. The women’s football team played the Isle of Man in their second group game yesterday, running out as 2-0 victors. Beth Macleod of Ness scored in the first minute, and fellow Niseach Mary Macleod completed the job at 60 minutes They will face Yyns Mon tomorrow at 5pm. The men’s team played games host Gotland yesterday evening, disadvantaged as a number of the team were hit with a bout of food poisoning the night before, ruling some out of the game. On the track Abbie Mackay competed in the 100 metres semi-final, finishing in fourth place, just outside a position for the final. Jenny MacTaggart got through to the final eight in the long jump, and finished 7th overall. Donald Macleod and Michael Macmillan both eased through the men’s 800 metres heats and are through to the final on Tuesday evening. The swimmers started their campaign yesterday. Kara Hanlon came first in her 50m breast stroke heat and younger brother Mathew Hanlon, the youngest athlete in the squad, came second in the backstroke. Lucy Doig made two personal best times in the 100m breaststroke and 50m breastroke, and there were PBs for Isla Budge and Katie Murray in the 100metre fly. Kathryn Offer had a PB in the 200m freestyle and the team also qualified for the final of the 4 x 100m swim relay last night. Coming up today is action in golf, badminton, swimming, athletics, mountain biking, and mens and womens football. See the website for further information www.islandgames2017.com or follow WIIGA on Facebook.

Kayaker ‘cold but happy’ after rescue
Stornoway Coastguard Rescue helicopter was involved in a winch rescue on Saturday night, recovering a kayaker from rocks at Clachnessie Bay, north of Lochinver. The Coastguard received multiple 999 calls reporting an overturned kayaker in distress. Lochinver Coastguard Rescue Team, the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Stornoway and the Lochinver RNLI lifeboat all attended the scene. Having been in the water for 30 minutes, the kayaker was able to pull himself onto nearby rocks. He was wearing a dry suit with buoyancy aid which protected him from the elements. A UK Coastguard spokesman said “He was cold and tired when we arrived on scene but very pleased to see us!”

Islands youth to get work help
The islands of Scotland are the latest to benefit from a Scottish Government scheme helping young people prepare for and find work. More than £1 million was announced yesterday to establish Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Regional Groups in Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides. These are the last groups to be set up in a 21 area network, with funding also promised until 2021. Cllr Angus McCormack, Chairman of the Comhairle's Education, Sport and Children's Services Committee, said: "We warmly welcome the funding award from Scottish Government which will support us in making further positive progression on our aims to reverse depopulation - a key priority for our islands. The Comhairle is committed to offering young people opportunities to remain in the islands and a key aspect of that work is to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary skills."